Media Release

1 August 2019

NSW Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle today said that Labor stands with the thousands of health workers who have taken industrial action today in protest against the Liberal National Government’s refusal to address the ongoing security and safety concerns faced by these workers every day.

Instead of sitting down with health workers to fix the safety crisis in our hospitals, the Liberals and Nationals have sat on their hands and allowed the health system to slip into crisis.

In 2017-18, there were a total of 529 reported assaults in NSW hospitals, almost 40 assaults per month (Source: BOCSAR).

Instead of working to keep staff safe in this increasingly dangerous work environment, health workers across NSW have been left on their own by the Liberals and Nationals.

The situation has become so bad that they have been forced to take industrial action.

NSW Labor has been calling on the Liberals and Nationals to provide additional staff, including additional security staff, and for improved training programs to deal with difficult patients.

Mr Park said: “Hospital staff have every right to be angry with this Government. They have been left without proper safety measures and have concerns that the Government continues to ignore.

“Nurses and doctors often work under difficult circumstances and the Government is failing to protect them in their workplace. The Liberals and Nationals may be happy for our health workers to be punching bags but Labor is not.

Mr Searle said: “Health workers in NSW have not taken this action lightly. They have done so because the Berejiklian Government has left them no other option.

“Instead of criticising health workers for wanting to be safe at work, the Premier and Minister need to sit down with them and work towards a solution.”